In advance of the Rule 5 draft deadline, the Pirates have announced they’ve selected the contracts of Endy Rodriguez, Mike Burrows, Colin Selby and Jared Triolo to their 40-man roster. In corresponding moves, Tyler Heineman, Jeremy Beasley, Manny Banuelos and Junior Fernandez have all been designated for assignment. Their 40-man roster remains full.
Pittsburgh acquired Rodriguez from the Mets as part of the three-team trade centered around Joe Musgrove heading to San Diego. He’s powered through the minor leagues this past year, making it all the way to Triple-A by season’s end. Across three levels, he hit .323/.407/.590 with 25 home runs. He appeared mostly at catcher, but also logged some time in the corner outfield, and at first and second base in 2022. The 22-year-old was ranked in the top-100 prospects in the game by Baseball America and MLB Pipeline, and given the Bucs’ lack of catching options on the major league depth chart, there appears a strong chance he makes it to the big leagues sometime in 2023.
Burrows landed fifth in Baseball America’s mid-season ranking of the Pittsburgh’s prospects. An eleventh round pick in 2018, Burrows spent half the year at Double-A before being promoted to Triple-A in June. In 12 starts at Double-A, Burrows had a 2.94 ERA, striking out batters 32.4% of the time and walking them 8.9% of the time. A big drop in strikeouts at Triple-A (down to 23.3%) largely accounted for his ERA spiking to 5.31 after his promotion, although his opponents BABIP also jumped about 40 points. Nonetheless, a couple of strong months at Triple-A to begin 2023 and it won’t be long before the 23-year-old finds his way to Pittsburgh.
Selby was a 16th round pick in 2018, and began his career as a starter before the Pirates shifted him to the bullpen last year. While the results weren’t particularly encouraging initially, he’s had a strong 2022 campaign at Double-A and made it to Triple-A briefly at the end of the season. In 32 2/3 innings at Double-A, Selby had a 29.7% strikeout rate against a 10.1% walk rate on the way to a 2.20 ERA. He only threw three innings at Triple-A, but should start there next season and could be a depth option for Pittsburgh’s bullpen next summer.
Triolo was picked up in the third round of the 2019 draft, and spent the entire 2022 campaign at Double-A. He hit a solid .282/.375/419, and as the line would suggest, posted a strong walk rate of 12.7% against a 17.6% strikeout rate. He’s predominantly a third baseman, but logged time at shortstop and center field in 2022. Given the presence of Ke’Bryan Hayes at third for the foreseeable future in Pittsburgh, it’s possible Triolo has a future as a utility man.
On the DFA side of things, only Heineman and Banuelos saw any meaningful time in the big leagues. Heineman appeared in 52 games at catcher, batting .211/.277/.254, while Banuelos threw 32 2/3 innings of 4.96 ERA ball after coming across from the Yankees mid-season. Fernandez only threw 3 1/3 innings for the Pirates, and Beasley only threw at their Triple-A affiliate.